e- papers

We Have moved . . . .

Go to   >    >  >> new Site     

Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Primed for a shoot-out — The Malaysian Insider

MAY 27 — They have primed their guns. They are keeping the powder dry. And they are more than ready for a shoot-out at high noon with the Prime Minister.

Sounds like a cowboy movie but supporters of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have been agitating on the Net against some of Datuk Seri Najib Razak's recent moves.

In their sights are his decisions to not push the “crooked bridge” with Singapore and the possible appointment of Ethos Consulting founder Omar Ong to the Petronas board of directors and former minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar as Petronas chairman.

Those decisions have been made but now kept in abeyance due to rising opposition from Dr Mahathir's supporters.

They have gone to the extent of asking Omar to decline any appointment to Petronas. Their open dislike for Omar echoes Dr Mahathir's own dislike as the consultant is seen as one of “Fourth Floor Boys” or policy advisers in the previous Abdullah Administration.

They also say Dr Mahathir is unhappy but is biting his tongue, biding his time despite decisions like the shock appointment of Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ali Rustam to the Umno supreme council despite being disqualified from running in the party contest on graft allegations.

Adding insult to injury but also holding their tongue, the supporters are also distressed that Najib had stressed in a Cabinet meeting that this was his administration, and not Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's or Dr Mahathir's government.

The country's sixth prime minister also urged the ministers to visit Abdullah, who retired last April 3 — a move that met with derision from Dr Mahathir's supporters who heard about Najib's comments.

From their point of view, Dr Mahathir should be accorded special status as he had played a critical role in forcing Abdullah's resignation that was helped by the Barisan Nasional's disastrous electoral performance in Election 2008 and several by-elections after that.

While Dr Mahathir is pulling his punches, preferring to write about the world economy and railing against any suggestion of using nuclear power in Malaysia, his supporters are not that silent but far from disrespectful to Najib.

Unlike their open hostility with Abdullah and those close to him.

But it is a matter of time before they and Dr Mahathir turn on Najib and his administration that is just over 50 days old.

It is something that Najib knows he has to contend with, apart from a resurgent opposition gaining more sympathy as police crack down on those attending candle-light vigils, wear black or go on a hunger strike.

Caught between the opposition and a sputtering economy, Najib already has it tough.

And he knows it won't be a quick-draw duel with Dr Mahathir and his supporters, who are all primed for a shoot-out after their success with Abdullah.

No comments:

Post a Comment